On the morning of Feb. 28, 2012, Alyza Lewin of the law firm Lewin & Lewin invited me to participate in a conference call to discuss a burgeoning controversy involving the basketball team of the Robert M. Beren Academy, an Orthodox Jewish School in Houston, Texas.
When he took over as dean of the Los Angeles campus of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in July 2010, Josh Holo, already a professor at the college, brought with him a few photographs of 11th-century letters to hang on the wall behind his desk. Among the letters is one that mentions a major problem for the Jewish communities in Egypt at the time: how to raise funds to redeem fellow Jews who had been taken captive by pirates.
The record book will say that the Maimonides School finished 20th out of 40 teams at the National High School Mock Trial Championship in Atlanta, winning two trials and losing two.
An observant Jew was once brought before the judge on counts of tax fraud. Seeing the kippah-wearing Jew before him, the judge innocently asked, “Mr. Schwartz, you are clearly a God-fearing man. How do you explain your immoral behavior?”
A pilot academy that would give adult students in Orange County certificates of graduation for completing three years of Jewish study expects to accept its first students in September.
A group of local Jewish educators are seeking funding to start a novel adult-education academy that would grant a certificate of recognition to students who complete its requirements over three years.
The Orange County Academy of Jewish Growth and Learning is envisioned as a way to impose a quasi-academic structure on an array of existing courses offered by local synagogues, the Bureau of Jewish Education and the Community Scholar Program.
An announcement last week by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) that it will not renew leases for its West San Fernando Valley properties will have an impact on two Jewish institutions: Kadima Hebrew Academy and the Rabbi Max D. Raiskin West Valley Hebrew Academy.
Three little words. That's what makes the difference between a religious school and a synagogue, as recently defined by the Los Angeles Central Area Planning Commission.
The five-member Planning Commission, responsible for zoning decisions in Hollywood, Hancock Park and other neighborhoods, made its decision Aug. 28 in a hearing regarding Yavneh Hebrew Academy.
In April, Yavneh had submitted an application for a number of changes to the K-8 school's zoning conditions, including adding a ninth grade for girls and allowing prayer services Saturday mornings. In June, after consulting with nearby residents, traffic consultants and architects, Associate Zoning Administrator Dan Green approved all but one of Yavneh's proposed changes. The request "to authorize Saturday prayer for students, parents, relatives and other guests" was denied.
The peace process is stalled, pluralism issues remain unresolved and the Netanyahu government is in turmoil. But organizers of a major, star-studded 50th anniversary tribute to Israel later this year are focusing their attention on celebration, not contention. Indeed, a rare in-gathering of major Hollywood celebrities, Jewish communal officals and organizational leaders has come together to mark Israel's first half century.
The peace process is stalled, pluralism issues remain unresolved and the Netanyahu government is in turmoil. But organizers of a major, star-studded 50th anniversary tribute to Israel later this year are focusing their attention on celebration, not contention. Indeed, a rare in-gathering of major Hollywood celebrities, Jewish communal officials and organizational leaders has come together to mark Israel's first half century.
The 14th annual Israel Film Festival formally raised the curtain last week on its two-week program of 50 feature movies, documentaries, TV films and golden oldies with an opening-night gala at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.